Saturday, April 04, 2009

Bihar braces up for elections

Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi’s decision to walk away from the RJD and LJP in the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar was a historic action of the party.

Though it is a different thing that it was the RJD and the LJP leaders,Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan who provoked the Congress to announce its candidature in all the 40 seats from the state.

The two parties formed their alliance and left only three seats for the Congress-the largest partner in the UPA. The LJP-RJD left Aurangabad(Nikhil Kumar),Sasaram(Ms Meria Kumar) and Madhubani(Shakeel Ahmad),all sitting Congress MPs for the Big brother in the UPA. The decision was unilateral and the Congress was not consulted.

In 2004 elections,Lalu had allotted six seats to the Congress,three were successful.Even in the assembly elections,Congress candidates were selected by Lalu Yadav in Bihar.The party which ruled Bihar since 1937(Sr Krishna Sinha days) was reduced to just ten legilaslators in the House.

Back in 2000 elections, all the 20 Congress MLAs were made ministers in Rabri Government when the Congress decided to extend support to the RJD’s minority ministry.

Though,Yadav and Paswan have extended their alliance by inducting the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav into their 134 seats fold(UP,Bihar and Jharkhand),they have refrained from attacking Ms Sonia Gandhi or the Congress in their election speeches. They are in fact reiterating they are still in the UPA.

The same gesture has been reciprocated by the AICC general secretary, Rahul Gandhi,who addressed several election meetings in the first round in Bihar. Rahul did not attack either Lalu or Paswan,but severely criticized the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, alleging the NDA government in Bihar misused the central funds allotted to Bihar .

Paswan and Lalu are claiming they have got nothing to do with the Third Front. They have also denied any links with Sharad Pawar and did not include the NCP in their electoral adjustments of constituencies in Bihar.

By concentrating in 134 seats during the campaign, the Dalit-MY (Muslim-Yadav) leaders are trying to strengthen their bargaining power in the post-election scene at the Centre. They want to keep Mayawati and the Third Front in check ,they have little option in the post –result scene. They can not align with the NDA led by the BJP nor can go with the Third Front,which has no existence in the three states.

The Left Parties have little impact in Bihar,Jharkhand or Uttar Pradesh. They can ignore the NCP,Third Front or Maywati in Bihar and Jharkhand, but they can not ignore the Congress.

The 40 seats from Bihar are witnessing multi-cornered contest every where with the presence of the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party candidates in the fray.

The Congress which has fielded all the three sitting MPs,nominated children and relatives of the senior Congress leaders and also allowed Lalu Yadav’s brother-in-law Sadhy Yadav,to contest from Bettiah against LJP’s Prakash Jha,a film producer.

The party kept the caste considerations while selecting the nominees and admitted Lovely Anand,wife of Ananad Mohan Singh, currently in jail following his conviction in Gopalganj District Magistrate murder case. Lovely too was convicted by the Fast Track Court but acquitted by Patna High Court. She has been nominated from a Rajput dominated constituency of Sheohar which was once represented by her husband.

The current trends of electioneering indicate, the Janata Dal(U)_ BJP combine may get more than what they got in 2004 elections. Together,they are expected to capture between 25 and 30 seats and the RJD-LJP may get 10-12 seats. The Congress may be confined to one to three seats only. In 2004,RJD had 24 seats, LJP four and the NDA 12 MPs from Bihar.

1 comment:

Shashank Shekhar said...

Great going Abhinandan. Keep up with the spirit.


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